With all of the TV-watching options available on the market today, it might be surprising that the cable industry is thriving. Thanks to high prices and programming that users wouldn’t otherwise get with streaming services alone, cable doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

If you plan to stick with cable, you might ask yourself “how can I reduce my cable bill?” It’s a good question, as cable prices are increasing every year and can definitely have a negative effect on your household budget. According to a report from Decision Data, cable packages cost more on average than all other household utility bills combined.

Customers are often fooled into thinking that the great introductory offer they got when they signed up is going to last indefinitely. They also don’t always realize all of the hidden fees and price increases that follow, especially if they are enrolled in autopay and don’t look at their bill regularly. Consumer Reports says cable companies can add as much as $37 per month to your bill in fees alone.

So what is a budget-conscious consumer to do? Despite all of these extra charges and the fact that cable providers seem to be taking advantage of their customers, there are still many ways to save money on cable. There are things you can do yourself and things you can hire a company, like Billshark, to do for you.

Here are 6 simple strategies to lower your cable TV bill:

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Strategy 1: Bundle up!

In general, cable customers use phone and internet services, too, so there’s no reason anyone should be paying for them separately or using different providers. Look for companies that will give you a package deal for all 3. You will almost always get a better rate for cable when it’s bundled with other services.

Strategy 2: Shop around for a deal

Cable companies are constantly trying to lure new customers with great introductory offers. Prospective consumers always get better deals, so it’s best to research providers to see who has the best one. Then save that information for when you are ready to call your company to ask for a bill reduction.

Strategy 3: Change the channels

Cable companies are notorious for overcharging for an excessive number of channels, many of which you will probably never use. Getting the most comprehensive premium package is often unnecessary and expensive. Find out exactly what channels are included in your package and make a list of the ones that you don’t need. Pay special attention to the sports and movie channels -- there are a lot of them -- and check for duplication. For example, if you subscribe to streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, check to see whether they offer the same channels as cable and, if so, remove them from your cable package.

Strategy 4: Be well-equipped

Another way cable companies like to overcharge is for extra equipment. Do you really need 4 cable boxes? Perhaps you can designate one TV for cable and get a streaming stick for the remaining TVs in your home. Or if you still want multiple cable boxes, perhaps choose only one for DVR recording.

Strategy 5: Prepare to negotiate

Once you have done your homework on introductory offers, extra charges and unused channels and equipment, you will be ready to call your cable provider. Here are some tips on how to negotiate a lower cable bill on your own, but just make sure you have time to spend on the phone to account for long wait times.

  • Place the call and explain that you are looking to lower your cable bill
  • Describe what the competition is offering their customers
  • Discuss your bill and any items you no longer want to pay for, such as those extra channels or unnecessary equipment
  • Ask about hidden fees and try to get them eliminated from your bill
  • Ask for a lower price and if the customer service rep won’t budge, ask to speak to a supervisor
  • Prepare to leave if you don’t get the results you wanted

Strategy 6: Hire a professional

If going through all of these steps didn’t get the bill reduction you were looking for or if you don’t want to spend any time researching and negotiating on your own, you can hire a company to negotiate the bill for you. It will eliminate the headache of having to do all the work yourself and you won’t have to spend hours on the phone trying to state your case.

Billshark’s expert negotiators are specifically trained to cut costs from all sorts of household bills, including cable. The process to get started is quick, easy and hassle-free. Just use our savings calculator at www.billshark.com which takes less than a minute and we will take it from there:

  1. Select your service type (cable)
  2. Select your service provider
  3. Tell us what your monthly payment is

We’ll give you a quick estimate. If you decide to hire us, simply send us your bill and we will get right to work. We’ll keep you updated on our progress and you won’t have to pay us anything until we save you money.

Lowering your cable bill is a great way to reduce overall household spending, but just because you cut your cable bill, doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your cable completely. You can still enjoy all of the shows you love without paying for channels you will never use. Partner with Billshark to start saving money today.